Motivation Articles

10 Ways to Get Organized for Weight Loss

Change Your Environment to Change Your Body

Linda came rushing in, 20 minutes late for our training appointment, extremely apologetic. When she was ready to leave her home, with plenty of time to arrive promptly, she realized her sneakers were not in her gym bag.  After searching frantically, she found them in the back seat of her car. Today’s tardiness was a variation on a regular theme.
John had a goal to eat a healthy breakfast at home before leaving for the office every morning. When I asked John to tell me how the week had gone, he replied, ''The first day went fine. I did eat breakfast at home but then ended up late for my morning meeting. Then I had to stay up very late that night to complete a project, which caused me to hit the snooze button the next morning—not once, but several times. And of course, that meant no time for breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast at home is a lot more challenging than I thought it would be.''
After 30 years of working with clients, I often see a strong correlation between disorganization and difficulty with sticking with a weight-loss plan—and the inverse, too. The more organized my clients are, the more apt they are to reach their weight-loss goals. For overweight individuals who desire to take off the extra pounds, no matter how good their intentions are, overhauling their diet and activity might not be the best first step.
Losing weight requires motivation, determination, and will power, as well as changes to eating, exercise, sleep, and stress-management habits. But what we seldom hear about is how important it is to be organized. It’s extraordinarily difficult to prep healthy food and get to the gym if you don’t have an organized schedule to fit it all in. For the chronically disorganized, creating a more orderly lifestyle might just be the best first step toward changing habits in all of these areas.
If you are reading this and thinking about the many areas of your life that are disorganized, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But don't panic. There are many small steps you can take to regain control of your life—and your body. One small change will often have a criss-cross effect on other areas in your life.  By spending a small amount of time getting more organized before embarking on a weight-loss journey, you will find the weight comes off more easily. Here are some ways to create a calmer life to support your weight-loss efforts.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at

Member Comments

  • Great article! I find that getting organized in all aspects of my life..and sustaining that habit.. can be the most challenging, difficult balancing act for me, as I work full time and have two children and a modest income. However, it has been very true for me that the more organized I become, the easier it is for me to lose weight! - 5/19/2015 10:23:02 AM
    It seems organization can be directly tied to success with a lot of endeavors, and weight loss is certainly no different. Aside from that, you must also approach your weight loss as a combination of habits that promote an overall healthy LIFESTYLE. That's the "secret" to successful weight loss. In fact, check out the following article that does a wonderful job of explaining the key factors in an effective, long-term weight loss strategy:
    5 - 5/6/2015 1:29:30 PM
  • I'm a lawyer. One of my professors in law school told us that she could tolerate a bad lawyer, but not a disorganized one. She was right: it is incredibly difficult to do this work if you're disorganized. (Mind you, my desk is a mess and my house is cluttered, but I know where my files are, every appointment and docket and day off is on my calendar, and I have excellent support staff to keep me on track.)

    My gym bag is in my vehicle unless I'm swapping out clothes. When I'm planning to commute by bike, I plan out what I'm going to wear and I pack things the night before. (I am required to have a vehicle at work, so I drive to work with my bike and suits and lunches and then I ride home.)

    Sometimes, life is one storm after another. Controlling those things you can control, such as having a plan and a back-up plan and keeping yourself relatively organized, makes it easier to weather those storms. - 4/6/2015 12:37:22 PM
  • I really need to pay more attention to this. Just bought a book, Lose the Clutter Lose the Weight and am going to work through its six week program. My weight is actually where I want it to be but my house is so NOT. - 3/9/2015 6:08:36 PM
  • Great article. I know that when I plan my meals and put it on the fridge my son is less likely to eat for lunch what I plan to make for dinner (like the Chinese I was using to make the Ziti) Not that I am exactly where I want to be in terms of organizing I would say that organization is the key to improving different areas of your life, especially when things aren't going so well. Organizing your time may help when in a bad situation. - 1/27/2015 9:04:10 PM
  • This article is SPOT ON!
    You must plan and prepare HOW you are going to do something to reach a goal. It's not enough to say "I'll walk 15 minutes a day". When? Where? If you always work through lunch and don't have a treadmill at home, what is your walking plan? Same with food. I would (and have!) definitely make bad decisions with food if I didn't have my hard boiled eggs, salad, oatmeal, peanut butter, carrot sticks and fruit at the office every day. How else would I eat those healthy foods? If they weren't there, I'd "have" to go to McDonald's or somewhere else for lunch!
    Spot on! - 1/16/2015 10:52:41 AM
  • Wonderful article! If I did not organize my gym stuff I think I would never exercise lol. I can improve in some of the areas made here; for instance I would like to see how I can create a calmer environment at home, especially in the areas I spend the most time in- the kitchen and the home office. Thanks! - 12/15/2014 7:28:24 AM
  • Excellent ideas. This article is a keeper! - 12/14/2014 5:26:01 PM
  • I was always wasting time and getting late because I never put my shoes away and they were all over the house. I wasted so much time every morning searching for the right cute shoes that I wanted to wear. I now put my shoes away and I have so much more time and less frustration, not to mention some days I had to go to work wearing the "not right shoes". - 11/21/2014 4:41:09 PM
    Great article. I agree when I am more organized exercise and everything goes better. - 10/5/2014 7:34:01 AM
  • Great, clear and very useful article!!! I have saved it to read it over and over. There are so many useful links and practical ideas, one can find no excuses really to avoid getting more organization in his/her personal life. I often have problems in organizing my busy life but I'm slowly learning. And every little bit I learn, i feel it makes my life better. - 10/1/2014 10:08:53 AM
  • Tremendous article and well laid out. I am a huge proponent of organization and have found it keeps me sane, peaceful and effective. When I visit friends who are NOT, it gives me a headache to see the mess everywhere, hampers overflowing, dishes in the sink, cures for rare diseases in the fridge etc. I simply refuse to visit again as it not that I don't like them but I don't want to subject myself to suffering .....not worth it...we can meet at a coffee shop or come over to my place....order in Feng Shui, losing weight or life is simply easier, better and worth the time to take control....your external world reflects your internal world....clutter out - clutter IN....Hugs to all... - 9/15/2014 2:13:17 PM
  • Great article. I agree when I am more organized exercise and everything goes better. - 8/24/2014 7:07:59 PM
  • GREAT article. Shared on Facebook and Pinterest. - 6/8/2014 10:25:52 PM
  • This is excellent and so true. My circumstances forced me to get my life organized. I still can improve in many of the areas here, especially the "create a calm environment". With demands on time and space, I need to really become creative. - 5/6/2014 8:25:20 AM

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